A Study of The Secret River by Kate Granville

Essay by swarnamali April 2010

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A study of the Secret River by Kate Granville

Novels often convey themes and issues relevant to society allowing readers to explore certain themes and issues that are realistic to various conflicts existing in society. Grenville's The Secret River through the effective use of narrative elements such as characterization, use of language, point of view and plotline, examines themes and issues involving racial conflict and interpersonal conflicts that occur between characters due to the differences and misunderstandings based on cultural and ethnic values and attitudes.

Effective communication is a must if life is to become successful. In the novel The Secret River, Kate Grenville endorses the value of effective communication by demonstrating what the lack of effective communication can lead to. Interpersonal conflicts between characters are examined through the effective use of the narrative element characterization. For example, William Thornhill and his wife Sarah Thornhill (Sal) endure interpersonal conflict due to their poor communication.

William wasn't able to speak to Sal about Thornhill's Point. This means that he can never share his dreams with her; this later divides them. Dishonesty kills relationships. William also lies to Sal about why they were moving to Thornhill's Point, and then he decides to stay there, forcing Sal to stay with him. This eventually caused Sal feeling trapped or imprisoned away from home, London, as she started to mark off the days that past. But William only lies to Sal because he believes its best for her. It is evident that the interpersonal conflicts occur between William and his wife Sal due to the differences and misunderstandings based on the poor communication that exists through their journey.

Language and its use is of predominant significance to humans. In the racial conflict the lack of communication appears to be caused by the lack of...